Kear braced for another nervy Heavy Woollen test

John Kear
John Kear
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Batley Bulldogs head coach John Kear will give Dewsbury Rams the utmost respect in tomorrow’s Heavy Woollen derby.

He was apoplectic after a controversial try saw them lose 17-16 at Bradford Bulls last week, ending a five-match winning run and leaving their Championship top-four hopes in the balance.

Kear wants an instant response against Dewsbury, but realises their pedigree.

“It’s a cliché but it’s a derby and form goes out of the window,” he said.

“We know full well they are a good team because it was very, very close at the Summer Bash.

“We only closed that win out with a penalty and two drop goals.

“I’m also fully aware that they managed to go to Bradford and come away with a win, which we narrowly failed to do.

“They are a team that’s got to be respected and feared so we’ll have to prepare as thoroughly for this game as we have for any this season.”

Seventh-placed Dewsbury’s recent resurgence was dented by a 24-8 home defeat to Halifax but new signing Mitch Stringer, the former Sheffield Eagles prop and captain, should debut tomorrow.

Coach Glenn Morrison said: “If you can’t get up for a derby like this, you shouldn’t be playing the game.

“It will be a big battle; their top-four hopes rely on this win and we want to continue to go up the table ourselves.

“Defensively we were really solid against Halifax. They scored four tries from kicks and only broke us down once, which was a disappointing try, but we went back to our sloppy ways with the ball.”

Meanwhile, South Sydney have announced the signing of England winger Joe Burgess from Sydney Roosters for the rest of the 2016 season ahead of his return to Wigan.

Burgess, 21, last week revealed he was cutting short his stay in the NRL in order to return to his home-town club on a three-year deal from 2017 and yesterday he was formally released by the Roosters.

“Joe is a quality winger and he sees an opportunity to play more first grade football for the rest of the year with our club,” said Souths’ former Wigan coach Michael Maguire. “He has played international football and is an excellent finisher and we look forward to seeing him turn out in the red and green for the rest of this year.”